Photo Credit: beautyinthebag.com
Daria Hamrah, DMD, FAACS, FADSA grew up in Cologne, Germany, where he received his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Johannes-Gutenberg University and Loyola University Medical Center, where he completed Anesthesia and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He then moved to Boston, MA to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in Oral Pathology at Harvard University where his training focused primarily on head and neck cancer. He continued his training in Chicago and Miami, focusing on reconstructive surgery of the head and neck and completed a fellowship at UT Southwestern Medical School in Texas.
Dr. Hamrah is a Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery and the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery. He is certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and holds a Cosmetic Surgery Procedures Certification. Dr. Hamrah is also the one of the co-founders of “Alegria” a foundation for cleft lip and palate and travels to Colombia to perform surgery for children with facial deformities.
BITB talked with him about how he predicts facial cosmetic surgery will change over the next decade.
Who or what inspired you to become a facial cosmetic surgeon?
Ever since I was a kid I loved helping others. I know it sounds cliché but thinking back, that’s what I remember. When someone got hurt, I was the first to get a Band-Aid and put it on the wound. If two people were in a quarrel I found joy in trying to help resolve their problem. Looking at what brings me joy today, it’s the same reason that motivates me to treat my patients every day – compassion! I always thought I became a doctor because my father was a doctor, but when I was asked by a student a few years ago the same question (why did you become a doctor?) I had to dig deep. When I went all the way back to my childhood, it became very clear to me that the joy of helping others to feel better physically and mentally!
How I got into “cosmetic surgery” was a result of many things in my life professionally and personally coming together. My father being a physician and my mother being an artist has a lot to do with who I am and how I was influenced growing up. Both my parents fueled my passion for what I am doing today. I double majored and excelled in both art and science as I was passionate about both fields and initially could not decide on my career path. I knew that in order to be successful and happy it was important to pursue my true passion. The natural result was to become a facial cosmetic surgeon. It fulfills me both intellectually and creatively. If I was to pick my profession again, I would become a facial cosmetic surgeon. To me it is my passion and not a job!
What are the top three most popular procedures your patients are asking for right now / you recommend and why?
The top three are blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), face lift and rhinoplasty (nose job), and they happen to be my favorite facial cosmetic procedures. They are very transformational and have a very high satisfaction rate among patients. The results are almost visible within only a week and literally are life changing for patients. Most of them have been contemplating surgery for a long time. Once they have elected to undergo the procedures, they are relieved and excited.
Rhinoplasties affect mostly younger patients in their teenage years. Many teenagers may already lack self-confidence and some find it hard to deal with a nose that they might not like and does not fit their face. This does not help their lack of self-confidence, especially in an age of social media and selfies. After 3 hours of surgery and 1 week recovery they can have the nose they desire that fits their face and enhances their natural beauty. So, in that regard it is life changing, similar to a child with protruding ears who enters school and becomes a target for bullying.
Eyelid surgery or facelifts are commonly performed to counter the signs of facial aging. To stay competitive, people are seeking more rejuvenative procedures. These could be non-surgical treatments like Botox and dermal fillers (Juvederm, Radiesse), frequent high-tech facials like a Hydrafacial, as well as surgical treatments. Upper eyelid hooding and lower eyelid sagging or dark circles are the first signs of aging and make you look tired and sad. These signs usually appear in the late 30s to early 40s. Jowling of the lower face and midface drooping with deepened nasolabial folds usually appear in the 40s and get progressively worse into the early 50s. These signs of aging are augmented by sagging of the neck muscles that start in the early 50s.
When I address the aging process, I typically start from the top of the face since that is where the aging process starts. A great way to achieve natural results is to tackle the aging process early and gradually, which is my definition of aging “gracefully”. Recent studies have shown that the earlier a cosmetic procedure is performed the longer the results will last.
How do you envision facial cosmetic surgery changing in the next 10 years?
If you look at the exponential increase of cosmetic procedures performed in the past 20 years, the number has exploded. Facial cosmetic procedures are becoming more non-invasive. Patients are also having cosmetic surgeries at a younger age. The average age of my patients has dropped by 10 years as more millennials are open to cosmetic refinements and understand the value of age prevention. They do not fear judgment and on the contrary, show off their treatments and openly talk with friends and on social media. They did not grow up during a time when cosmetic procedures had a negative stigma and are more open minded. So, looking at the future, when today’s millennials turn 40-50 years old, they will be seeking cosmetic surgery without hesitation. I feel that it will be something as normal as getting their hair or nails done.